Art Month and Why I Love a Parade!

Eureka Springs is an Art town all-year long, but May is special.  Every day this month, every where, you will have the opportunity to experience the creativity that flows through not just the 200 or more self-proclaimed artists who live here, but through common citizens as well.

Your humble innkeeper, for example, will be dancing down Spring Street on Saturday, May 11th.  You’ve gotta love a town where a 50+ lady can show her belly in public and get cheers and applause!

Here are photos from last year’s parade (taken by Richard Quick):

Artrageous '12 1Artrageous '12 2

Artrageous '12 3Artrageous '12 4Artrageous '12 5Artrageous '12 7Artrageous '12Artrageous '12 6

For a complete schedule of this year’s May Festival Events, please visit

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Carving in the Ozarks

This weekend, 4/19 – 21, twenty-five chainsaw wood carvers are coming to town, including two national champions.  The event is not just for men;  one of the carvers this year is Sylvia Cook from East Tennessee.

Each carver brings two logs, 5-feet long by 2-feet in diameter.  At 8:00 a.m. on Friday, they enter their netting-enclosed shelters and start their chainsaws.  On Saturday at 4:00p.m. their carvings are auctioned off, with awards going to the top three prices.

Part of the proceeds from the auction goes to a local charity.  This years, it’s the Eureka Springs Youth Sports Association.

Entry for the event is free, as is parking.  Ear protection isn’t necessary – it’s not that noisy.

Here are photos from 2012:

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Great Place for Halloween!

We locals contend that almost any day can seem like Halloween in our little town, since our citizens often appear in “costume” year-round.  And we don’t need much reason to celebrate – every day is a potential holiday!

That said, the residents of Eureka Springs take Halloween seriously.  What follows are just some examples of the wonderful decorations you’ll find in our neighborhoods.

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Foot-Tapping Fun at the Bluegrass Festival, 8/17-19

Bluegrass lovers can look forward to 3 full days of music and fun, starting with FREE music in Basin Spring Park (downtown) on Friday evening.  The traditional Watermelon Social at 5:30pm – with free watermelon and ice water for all – features Tulsa-based string band Grass Crack followed by the HillBenders.

On Saturday, FREE music will entertain you again in Basin Park from 1:00pm to 7:00pm with Deadman Flats, Spring Street, the Buffalo City Ramblers, and Grass Crack back for a return set.

Saturday night’s headliners are both rising stars of the “NewGrass” movement.   Florida-based Dread Clampitt’s influences range from bluegrass, rock & roll, blues, jazz and Louisiana Bayou funk, complete with three-part harmonies and a pinch of southern humor thrown in for good measure.  Folk Soul Revival is a harmony drenched, rowdy, Americana band from the Appalachian mountains.    The performances begin at 7:30pm at The Auditorium, located at 36 South Main Street.   Reserved tickets are now on sale at   Advance tickets are $20 Orchestra and $15 Balcony.

FREE music in Basin Spring Park continues on Sunday from  1:00pm to 5:00pm.  Glory Mountain and The Bushwhackers close out the weekend with  traditional Gospel music.

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Strangest Dwelling in the Ozarks? You Decide!

Quigley’s Castle is a castle in the “man’s home is his castle” sense of the term, not in the Buckingham Palace sense.  Actually, it’s a woman’s home, namely Elise Quigley, who  started collecting rocks, shells, and crystals from hillsides and creek beds as a 9-year-old girl.  The mother of 5 eventually used her finds as building materials.   The result is unique, beautiful and whimsical and yes, a little strange…and well worth a visit.

Photos were taken by my cousin, Ilaria Rattaro, from Genova Italy. The inside of the house is fascinating, but we’re only including shots of the grounds and exterior.  For more information, please click the link on our Activities page.

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Take a Mini-Safari in the Ozarks!

If you want to get up-close and personal with wild animals, Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge is the perfect place to spend a couple of hours.  On May 5th, the refuge will celebrate 20 years of  “provid(ing) lifetime refuge for abandoned, abused, and neglected “Big Cats” with emphasis on Tigers, Lions, Leopards, and Cougars” – as stated in their mission statement.

We visited Turpentine last week and were so impressed by the natural habitats that continue to be built to give the cats more space and freedom of movement.  Meanwhile, several of the cats are in cages which allow for their close observation – which is particularly interesting during feeding time!

Each cat has its story, and most will break your heart!  But thanks to the dedicated folks at Turpentine Creek, all of them have happy endings.  (You can find a link to Turpentine’s web site on our Activities page.  Each cat has a name but I didn’t take notes during the tour.  Photos were taken by our cousin, Ilaria Rattaro of Genova, Italy.)

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Stories from the Family Place (#26)

Families and friends who need a kitchenette often choose the cozy accommodation we call “The Family Place” which is part of the Deerview Log Home. The central area has log walls and vaulted ceiling and probably dates from the thirties.  It has a wood-burning fireplace and those of you who follow us on Facebook have met the “resident” deer, Woodson.

In 2009, we added a Journal for Guest Comments and have really enjoyed the entries, especially those written by our younger guests.                                                                      Here is a sampling of our favorites:

“The room service was awesome! They even made our beds.”
“This was my first cabin to ever stay in and my family and I loved it. We all loved the refrigerator.”
“I like the beds and I like the mirrors.” 6-year-old Abby
“It smells like my great grandma’s house and that made it even more comfortable!!”       The Lillys
“I could live here if I didn’t have to sleep with my brother every night.” Eva

“It was so peaceful, except when the giant possum attacked our children and drug them into the forest.  Fortunately, by building the camp fire higher we were able to keep the possum at bay, until the national guard arrived to rescue the surviving members of our family.  We hope to be back for more adventures next year.” Chestnut Family (minus 1)

“After a couple of peaceful nights, we were awakened by the giant possum.  We found him to be very friendly and decided he will be coming home with us.  He will live happily in Iowa with our many raccoons!”  Buston Family (plus 1)

“The cabin was very clean and like stepping back in time when life was simpler.” Millers

“The cabin is awesome.  It is the best cabin ever.  Although it is very cold outside, I feel safe in the cabin.” Cassie

“The swimming pool is nice and the beds are comfy.”

“I liked my stay but the deer has hidden camcorders in its eyes.  His eyes seem to be watching me.  It’s scary but relaxing as well.” Amir

“I really liked it when the maid came in and took my panda bear and two bears and put them into my baby blanket.  It was cute.” Rachael

“We loved our stay in this cabin.  Even the show that was put on around midnight every night.  It was amazing to see the giant possum running around the cabin chasing the gigantic Buck.” Mike and Debbie

“Another hint that the deer is a camera: the name of the cabin is “Deerview.'”                   The Pitchfords

“Need more deer heads on walls.  The squirrels were annoying but sure tasted good.” :) The Bertrands

“I want to move this house to Louisiana and switch furniture.” Jason

“Had an amazing time.  The deer head was a little creepy at first, but it started to grow on me.  I named it Woodson :)” Trent

“We saw the biggest wood pecker ever and I thought it was a chicken.” Roni

“The cabin is wonderful in very way, as long as you keep the giant possum at bay.  Woodson the deer watched over us with care; his antlers are perfect for drying underwear.’  Gerrald / Jones

“This cabin was nice until 12:00 at nite.  All day we had felt Like someone was watching us.  Then at 11:55 we started hearing noises.  The TV was turning on and off rapidly.  Then the rocking chair started rocking back and forth out of nowhere!!  Then the thing moved and you could hear its footsteps walking over to the twin bed…”                                                      A lot more happened to the Traylors, but you’ll just have to visit #26 to read the rest of their story!

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